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A Taste of Heaven: A Guide to Food and Drink Made by Monks and Nuns
     

A Taste of Heaven: A Guide to Food and Drink Made by Monks and Nuns

by Madeline Scherb
 

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A fascinating (and mouthwatering!) look at the wonderful food and drink produced by monks and nuns in America, Belgium, France, and Germany.

Part travel guide, part cookbook, A Taste of Heaven is a delightful survey of the fine food and drink made by Catholic religious orders in America, Belgium, France, and Germany. From positively scrumptious beer

Overview

A fascinating (and mouthwatering!) look at the wonderful food and drink produced by monks and nuns in America, Belgium, France, and Germany.

Part travel guide, part cookbook, A Taste of Heaven is a delightful survey of the fine food and drink made by Catholic religious orders in America, Belgium, France, and Germany. From positively scrumptious beer and cheese to some of the richest chocolate on earth, the treats presented in this book are heavenly indeed, and author Madeline Scherb beautifully captures the heart and spirit of the holy work that goes into producing them. With vivid descriptions of the monasteries, their fascinating histories, and helpful advice for travelers on getting there and getting the most out of their visit, this book will serve as an invaluable guide. A Taste of Heaven also contains more than thirty recipes from notable chefs that incorporate the products found at these monasteries, as well as a helpful guide to buying and ordering these delectable ingredients if you are unable to travel to the monasteries themselves. Recipes include such delights as:

* Flamiche (a Belgian version of quiche that uses Postel cheese from the Postel Abbey in Belgium) from chef and food columnist Sandy D'Amato
* Brownies à la Mode with Trappistine Caramel Sauce (uses caramel from Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey, Iowa)
* Blackberry Cabernet Sorbet (made with Pinot Noir from St. Hildegard Abbey near Rudesheim, Germany) from Ciao Bella Gelateria in Grand Central Terminal, New York City

Featuring lovely original black-and-white illustrations that perfectly capture the tranquil atmosphere of the monasteries, A Taste of Heaven is a treasure for anyone who loves spirited food, drink, and travel.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a world dominated by celebrity chefs and the latest and greatest recipes blogged and tweeted by foodies, Scherb takes readers on a refreshing foray along a monastic pilgrimage through Europe and the United States. The author poses the question in this cookbook/travel guide: “What can the rest of us learn from the way monks and nuns live and the exceptional products they make?” The “exceptional products” are broken down into sections including spirits, cheese, and sweets, and honor the ingredients and traditions of monastic food making over a thousand years. The 40-plus recipes vary from the simple (Savory Cheese Melt) to the unexpected (cauliflower fritters), and more involved (chocolate chestnut torte with cognac mousse; and browned sole with shrimp, and gnocchi), are culled from various restaurant chefs, magazines and Brother Victor-Antoine d'Avila-Latourrette, a monk and cookbook author. While the recipe count is light, the book—subtly designed with small illustrations—is filled out with suggested itineraries to regional monasteries, detailed profiles of abbots and abbesses and a shopping resource. Readers will also find a guide to monastery etiquette and a suggested reading list for more on monastic life. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Part cookbook, part travel guide, Scherb's survey of the food and drink made by religious orders completely dispels the image of austerity associated with monasteries and abbeys. The 30-plus recipes she gathered from nuns and monks—Christmas cocoa, prawns with Chartreuse, roasted cod fillets, creamy beer soup, vegetarian paella with Westmalle Tripel, goat cheese apple pie—are luscious and simple. And dishes contributed by celebrity chefs like Charlie Trotter incorporate such clergy-produced ingredients as Trappist beer or Chartreuse liqueur. Scherb, a journalist who rediscovered her Catholic faith and embarked on a pilgrimage to these retreats, describes the background of each abbey and monastery from which she has collected recipes and suggests itineraries (with contact information) for visiting these institutions in Belgium, Germany, France, upstate New York, and other regions. At the back of the book, she includes a chapter on monastery etiquette to ease apprehension for timid visitors and a shopping guide to products available for online ordering. Verdict The absence of maps is the only disappointment. A good choice for foodies and travel buffs. (Index not seen.)—Ann Weber, Bellarmine Coll. Prep. Lib., San José, CA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585427185
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/06/2009
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
7.98(w) x 8.08(h) x 0.66(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

A journalist, Madeline Scherb has written for several newspapers, magazines, and radio programs around the country. The recipient of a Fisk Fellowship in Media and Religion from the Eli Lilly Foundation, she has a Master’s degree in Journalism from New York University. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Scherb now lives in New York City.

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